How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistJen Your Own Question
TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3318
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
64783947
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistJen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 4 year old daughter is crying at preschool. She has had

This answer was rated:

My 4 year old daughter is crying at preschool. She has had a few good days but mostly crying when she leaves me. I am afraid she is just not ready and I am afraid I am going to make her insecure by forcing her to go. It is all day prek and we live in rural Oklahoma so we don't have allot of options but to drive over 30 minutes one way to go to a half day prek. I am also afraid that if I pull her out that it will be worse next year because she "got her way".

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

CoachJenK :

Hi


 

Customer:

Morning!


 

CoachJenK :

This is perfectly normal for her to be experiencing this separation anxiety and you are not harming her...in fact you are helping her to grow and develop the internal skills to soothe and comfort herself.


 

CoachJenK :

What do the teachers say in terms of her calming down after you leave? my guess it doesnt take long as she gets involved in activities.


 

Customer:

But I don't feel I am helping her. What can I do to comfort her. I have friends that are suggesting I may be making her insecure in the long run by forcing her to be away from me.


 

Customer:

That is right! She does fine about 10 minutes of crying. But she has break downs randomly in the day crying for me and to come home to nap.

CoachJenK :

I disagree. At some point all children need to separate and develop confidence and this is giving her those skills. It is normal for her to miss you and want to be with you.


 

Customer:

I guess I am afraid she is not ready to learn these skills.....?????

CoachJenK :

exactly!!!! that is what you need to keep in mind...that it doesnt last and even if there are periodic episodes of crying does not mean anything bad. she is tired and cries.


 

CoachJenK :

and then you leave the room


 

CoachJenK :

shorter is better as if you make the goodbye too long you can increase her anxiety.


 

CoachJenK :

would it help to know i have 3 year old twins and i go through this every morning?


 

CoachJenK :

I would suggest that you keep the goodbyes short. Give her a warm hug and let her know she is strong and to keep you in her heart when she cant see you and that she will see you at the end of the day.


 

CoachJenK :

I developed a cute little thing....I kiss the palms of their hands and I tell them that when they think of me during the day and miss me they should kiss their palms and that means mommy is thinking of them too and kissing them.


 

CoachJenK :

it has worked quite well.


 

Customer:

The goodbyes are short. She leaves from our house with my oldest daugter and rides with a neighbor. So I am not even taking her to the school now.


 

CoachJenK :

If you dont do it now, and you wait and put it off it will be much harder on all...that i do know!


 

CoachJenK :

ok then you are doing great!!!


 

CoachJenK :

keep it up and worry less about you harming her as you are not....you are encouraging growth and confidence in her that she can achieve things


 

Customer:

I do the kiss the hands trick.


 


That is what I was thinking, if I cave and let her stay home it will be worse later........

CoachJenK :

yes it will!


 

CoachJenK :

I promise you,...all that you are saying and doing is great work.


 

CoachJenK :

some kids cry every morning for years but it is okay


 

Customer:

So making her go and leaving her crying and wanting me won't make her insecure


 

Customer:

I just don't see how that is okay, don't they need something they are not getting if they are crying everyday for years?

CoachJenK :

no it wont. in fact you rescuing her now and not giving her this chance of growth can make her insecure as kids are smart and it communicates to her...mommy doesnt think I can do it.


 

Customer:

Oh, I can understand that.

CoachJenK :

no it does not mean that...it just means they feel it deeply but do okay once they are involved and I am not saying she will cry for years.


 

Customer:

Right! Lord I hope not! It kills me!

CoachJenK :

speak with the teachers too and let them know how you feel and they can reassure you as well. They have seen this year after year.


 

Customer:

She was so ready and excited to go! I was so surprised when she started this


 

CoachJenK :

I know it does! I feel the same every morning but as I write to you now I know they are involved and doing just fine.


 

CoachJenK :

always worse after a weekend or a long weekend


 

CoachJenK :

so you are lending her your strength and confidence and in time she will be able to internalize it


 

CoachJenK :

you are doing just fine...truly!


 

Customer:

She is my third of four children. My oldest had an even worse seperation anxiety that did last for years. Is it something I am doing or not doing?

CoachJenK :

:-)


 

CoachJenK :

you are being a great mom and they love to be with you


 

CoachJenK :

some kids just have it a bit worse but in time it will get better as it has with your older one even if it did last for a while


 

Customer:

Okay! Thank you!

CoachJenK :

it is my pleasure. stay strong and she will see your strength. you are doing a great job. come to me anytime.


 

CoachJenK :

please take a moment to click on the rating tab and offer a rating of my work...my goal is excellent.


 

CoachJenK :

thank you in advance


 

TherapistJen and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you